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War of the Planet of the Apes

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The film “War of the Planet of the Apes” depicts apes with very human characteristics. Caesar, the leader of the apes, is the noblest character in the film. None of the human characters display admirable qualities. Judging from the behavior of the characters, it seems that the apes are more admirable, more morally virtuous, more good than the humans. This raises many questions, of which an understanding of medieval philosophy could answer.
First of all, according to Saint Thomas Aquinas, following after Isidore of Seville, the word intelligence comes from the combination of two Latin words: intus (which means into) and legere (which means to read). So, an intelligent person is someone who can read into reality and not judge by appearances. Apes and humans appear to be different, and from our human point of view humans are beautiful while apes are ugly. If someone is intelligent, however, then s/he can read into reality and go deeper than the appearances. Such an intelligent person would grasp the reality that the apes in the film are better than the humans in the film, and we should love them more than the humans in the film. Even if the natural love of our own species prevents us from loving them more than loving our own kind, intelligence should show us that we should treat the apes with respect and not try to kill them. This is related to racism: even if the natural love of our own race prevents us from loving people of other races more than we love our own kind, intelligence should show us that we should treat people of other races with respect and not try to harm them. So, the medieval understanding of intelligence would guide us if ever we face real apes like the ones depicted in the film.
Second, and maybe more importantly, the medieval question of universals would show us that the apes depicted in the film cannot exist, so the question of how we should treat them is unrealistic. In the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a new virus is made which causes apes to become intelligent.

Question of universals
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